As the result of an influx of braking jobs coming in with the easing of lockdown measures, have asked leading automotive brake systems specialist, Brembo, to share their checklist for safer, vibration-free braking for the UK’s garages.

Replacing brake discs and pads might be a relatively routine job, but that doesn’t make them easy to get right! The extreme forces, speeds and conditions placed on modern brake systems means that even if you’ve fitted the new parts entirely correctly, other factors may still cause irritating squeaks or rattles – and even safety issues.

“Noises and squeaks from the braking system are rarely due to defects or poor quality of the new component itself,” confirms Marco Moretti, Aftermarket Marketing Director at Brembo. “More often they are caused by other, worn braking system components that have deteriorated over time, preventing the pads and discs from operating effectively.”

Whole-system approach

For this reason, he says that it’s important to cast an eye over the whole braking system when replacing any item. “When you’re changing discs and pads, don’t limit yourself to just replacing the two main wear components. Instead, make sure you carry out a more complete check-up on the entire braking system,” he explains.

Here is Brembo’s 12-point brake maintenance checklist:

If changing pads: check for disc wear too

If changing discs: always replace the pads as well

Clean any rust or dirt off the disc and hub coupling surfaces. If there are deposits or dirt on the existing discs, also clean their braking surface.

Check the oscillation of the brake disc, mounted on the wheel hub. Normally it should not exceed 0.1mm. If there is a problem, also test the oscillation of the wheel hub alone, which should not exceed 0.020 mm.

If the new pads have anti-noise shims, apply them correctly. Do not re-use the old shim

Check the pistons, seals, dust boots and sliding elements on the caliper to ensure they are not damaged or corroded and that they can slide. Use a specific grease suitable for each component that does not affect the rubber parts. Replace any deteriorated parts.

Clean the contact surfaces between the caliper bracket and the pads. Then apply an anti-noise grease.

If the caliper springs are old and worn, inspect, clean or replace with new components.

Check that the springs are correctly positioned.

Assess the brake fluid level – this should be between the min. and max. indicators. The brake fluid should be replaced every two years or when specified by the manufacturer.

Tighten the wheel screws in the right sequence, using a torque wrench with the correct tightening torque.

Conduct a brief road test to check the braking system is working well and there are no vibrations or noises.

Not joined the Brembo specialist network?

Brake specialists Brembo run a network on, providing branding to garages who make use of their parts. Interested in joining? Message our team at [email protected].